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Alumni, congressman honored by UW-Stevens Point

Four University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point alumni and a former United States congressman were honored on Saturday, Oct. 8, as part of the University Awards ceremony.

Scott Thomas, ’88, Jacksonville, Fla., will receive the Alumni Service Award; Lucas Allen Buick, ’05, Sausalito, Calif., and Ryan Dorshorst, ’06, San Francisco, Calif., are recipients of the UWSP Trailblazer Award; Tom Nikolai M.D., ’52, Marshfield, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Dave Obey, former U.S. representative of Wisconsin, has won the William C. Hansen Distinguished Service Award.

Thomas (left), member of the UWSP Foundation Board and former member of the UW-Stevens Point Alumni Association Board, is honored for giving freely of his time with unpaid service that benefits UW-Stevens Point and the Alumni Association for five years or more. He created the Don Maki Scholarship in his uncle’s name to assist students studying abroad. He and his wife host annual UW-Stevens Point alumni events at their home and create distinctive opportunities for alumni to experience behind-the-scenes tours at local businesses. He received a U.S. patent for a process improving a medical device and author of several invention disclosures for medical devices. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard instructor and honor guard member and certified Six Sigma black belt.

Buick and Dorshorst (right) are honored as alumni who have exhibited exceptional professional achievement within the first 10 years of graduation. They partnered to form Synthetic Infatuation, a brand and Web consultancy now headquartered in San Francisco. They now build software for Apple’s iOS platform, including Hipstamatic, named iPhone App of the Year by Apple in 2010. They also designed the Swankolab and Incredibooth apps. Dorshorst is president of Synthetic Infatuation and Buick, named a thought leader by Social Axcess in January, serves as CEO of Synthetic Corp., managing all new business, partnership and sponsor relations for Synthetic brands.

Nikolai (left), a native of Central Wisconsin, is honored as an alumnus who, over the course of more than 40 years, has achieved overall greatness in any given area, professional, service or personal. He has worked in the field of endocrinology for 34 years, treating thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes. During his tenure, he discovered and described the cause, treatment and outcome of two new thyroid diseases. He research was featured as a chapter in the book, “The Thyroid,” considered the foremost authority on thyroid disease. Nikolai served twice as president of the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and was instrumental in establishing the clinic’s development department.

Obey (right), a Wausau native, is recognized for public service as demonstrated by the humanitarian work of Hansen, a president of Wisconsin State Teachers College (later UW-Stevens Point) from 1940-1962. Obey served Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District for 21 consecutive terms from 1969 until 2011. As a member of the Democratic Party, he served as chair of the House Committee on Appropriations. He retired from Congress in January and currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, a nonprofit organization within the UW Colleges and UW-Extension, and as senior counsel at Gephardt Government Affairs.

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